The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and Purdue University present:

Food Security
and the Water-Energy
Nexus in the Face
of Climate Change

BARD Workshop

October 11-12, 2023

Kibbutz Ketura, Israel

The conference has been postponed due to the current security situation.

The Arava Institute and Purdue University are excited to present a workshop on Food Security and the Water-Energy Nexus in the Face of Climate Change. The workshop aims to provide a platform for interdisciplinary researchers and policymakers from Israel, the United States, and other countries to exchange knowledge and experience, and to raise awareness on the importance of this subject in times of climate crisis and social instability, and to facilitate discussion on how agriculture can be adapted to enhance resilience against the effects of climate change, thereby promoting food security and peace. This workshop is supported by the US-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development (BARD) Fund.





Opening Session

  • Professor Yoram Kapulnik, Executive Director, BARD
  • Dr. Lori Hoagland, Professor, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture; Co-Director, Arequipa NEXUS Institute, Purdue University
  • Dr. Tareq Abu Hamed, Director of Arava Institute for Environmental Studies

11:30 -12:00

Keynote speaker

Professor Bruce Hamaker, Distinguished Professor of Food Science, Roy L. Whistler Chair, Director, Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research, Purdue University:
Fortified foods, entrepreneurship, and food security in the African Sahel

12:00 – 13:30

Food and Vulnerability in the Face of Climate Change

Chair: Dr. Daniel Leon-Salas, Purdue University, Associate Professor, Polytechnic Institute; Co-Director Arequipa Nexus Institute, USA

  • Dr. Dorit Adler, President of the Israeli Forum for Sustainable Nutrition, Israel
  • Prof. Juliana Espada Lichston, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
  • Prof. Arnon Karnieli, Dr. Micha Silver, Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
  • Dr. Lori Hoagland, Professor, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture; Co-Director, Arequipa NEXUS Institute, Purdue University, USA

13:30 – 14:30


14:30 -16:00

Food and Energy Nexus

Chair: Dr. Elise Machline, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Israel

  • Prof. Marcus Zepf and Prof. Cedissia About, PhD, Paris School of Urbanism, France
  • Dr. Luciano Castillo, Purdue University, Kenninger Professor of Renewable Energy and Power Systems in Mechanical Engineering. School of Mechanical Engineering , USA
  • Dr. João Gabriel Bessa, University of Jaén, Spain
  • Dr. Lisa Bosman, Purdue University, Associate Professor, Polytechnic Institute, USA


Coffee break


Early Career Panel

Chair: Dr. Oren Hoffmann, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Israel

  • Dr. Mauricio Kleinberg, Water Department, Ben Gurion University, Israel
  • Dr. Pratishtha Poudel, Purdue University, Assistant Professor of Agronomy, USA
  • Dr. Hung Nguyen, Dead Sea and Arava Science Center, Israel
  • Dr. Efrat Elimelech, University of Haifa, Israel


First day closing summary and remarks

Dr. Daniel Leon-Salas, Purdue University, Associate Professor, Polytechnic Institute; Co-Director Arequipa Nexus Institute, USA




8:00- 9:30

Water Management for Food Security

Chair: Dr. Suleiman Halasah, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Israel

  • Prof. Amit Gross, Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
  • Dr. Avshalom Babed, Dead Sea and Arava Science Center, Israel
  • Dr. Amisha Shah, Purdue University, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental and Ecological Engineering, USA
  • Dr. Lisa Welp, Purdue University, Associate Professor of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, USA
  • Prof. Eilon Adar, Ben Gurion University of the Negev

9:30 – 11:00

Food Security – Technology - Society

Chair: Professor Bruce Hamaker, Purdue University

  • Dr. Tali Zohar, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Israel
  • Dr. Clive Lipchin, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Israel
  • Dr. Daniel Leon-Salas, Purdue University, Associate Professor, Polytechnic Institute; Co-Director Arequipa Nexus Institute, USA
  • Prof. Meidad Kissinger, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel


Coffee Break


Food and Climate Security Impact on Geopolitics

Chair: Dr. Rina Kedem, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies

  • Dr. Stacey Connaughton, Purdue University, Professor of Communication and Director Policy Research Institute and Peace Institute, USA
  • Dr. David Lehrer, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Israel
  • Dr. Mohamed Riduan Abid, Columbus State University, USA
  • Dr. Florian Krampe, Director of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute‘s Climate Change and Risk Programme, Sweden




Global Overview of Food – Water -- Energy Nexus

Chair: József Kádár, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies

  • Beata Pataki, University of Debrecen, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Hungary
  • Dr. Rosa Cossio, Purdue University, Program Manager, Arequipa Nexus Institute, USA
  • Dr. Maria Vrachioli, Agricultural Production and Resource Economics, TUM School of Life Sciences, Technical University of Munich, Germany
  • Tommaso Emiliani, European Institute for Innovation and Technology

15:15 -16:45

Closing and Summary

Chair: Dr. Tali Zohar, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Israel

  • Dr. Dorit Adler, President of the Israeli Forum for Sustainable Nutrition, Israel, and Dr. Lori Hoagland, Professor, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture; Co-Director, Arequipa NEXUS Institute, Purdue University
  • Dr. Stacey Connaughton, Purdue University, Professor of Communication and Director Policy Research Institute and Peace Institute, USA, and Beata Pataki, University of Debrecen, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Hungary
  • Dr. Lisa Welp, Purdue University, Associate Professor of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, USA, and Dr. Clive Lipchin, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Israel
  • Dr. Luciano Castillo, Purdue University, Kenninger Professor of Renewable Energy and Power Systems in Mechanical Engineering. School of Mechanical Engineering , USA, and József Kádár, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Israel
Travel arrangements

Transportation to Kibbutz Ketura by bus will be provided from Tel Aviv through Beer Sheva on October 11th, and from Kibbutz Ketura to Beer Sheva and Tel Aviv on October 12th. After registration, exact times and stops will be sent to you five days before the conference.

Please contact Dr. Elise Machline for assistance in obtaining a visa or entry permit.

Rooms can be booked at the Lotan Desert Travel Hotel. Please make a reservation via this e-mail, with the title “Nexus”.
The first 30 participants to register will receive a 50% discount on their accommodation. Please contact Dr. Elise Machline for more information.

To read the bios of speakers, click on their name or photo:



Abid Riduan

Dr. Mohamed Riduan Abid

Columbus State University, Georgia, United States

After earning a master’s degree in Computer Science in 2000, Dr. Abid began his academic journey as a lecturer at Alakhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI), Morocco’s only university accredited by US ABET & NECHE. In 2006, he received a Fulbright Student scholarship and pursued his Ph.D. in Computer Science at Auburn University, USA, graduating in 2010. Upon completion, he returned to AUI, serving first as an Assistant Professor and then being promoted to Associate Professor by 2015.

Dr. Abid’s research contributions were recognized in 2016 when he secured a NAS USAID/PEER grant (#5-398) focusing on ICT (Information & Communication Technology)  for Energy-Efficient Smart Grids. The following year (2017), he furthered his research on Cloud Computing at the University of Houston, courtesy of a Fulbright Research scholarship. A prestigious honor came his way when he was named a USA NAS (National Academy of Sciences) Arab-American fellow. In 2018, his expertise led him to Purdue University with a NAS scholarship, focusing on Smart Cities. In 2022, Columbus State University (CSU) welcomed him as an associate professor.

A passionate coach and programmer, Dr. Abid clinched the first prize for six straight years (from 2014 to 2019) as a coach at the National ACM Moroccan Collegiate Programming Contest (MCPC), and qualified twice to the ACM ICPC (International Collegiate Programming Contest) World Finals: 2015 in Marrakech, and 2018 in Beijing.

With over 60 published works in esteemed conferences and journals, Dr. Abid’s research primarily revolves around Cloud Computing, Big Data Processing, Energy-Efficient Smart Grids, and Distributed Systems. He is a proud member of both ACM and IEEE.

Cedissia About

Dr. Cedissia About

Paris School of Urbanism

After 5 years’ experience in architectural and landscape agencies, Dr. Cedissia About joined the City of Paris in 2002, where she carried out various assignments in the Urban Planning Department (2002-
2014). As head of urban projects and then sustainable development referent, she coordinated the drafting of the Un aménagement durable pour Paris (sustainable development for Paris) guidelines, as well as the Cahiers Habiter durable collection. Dr. About joined the smart and sustainable city mission at the General Secretariat in 2014,
where she was responsible for the EcoQuartier labeling of numerous Parisian urban projects.

Since 2016, she has been in charge of research and innovation at the Public Buildings and Architecture Department. Her main missions involve monitoring and implementing strategic plans and documents, developing and implementing innovations relating to eco-renovation in public building, monitoring the greening of school grounds, and developing specifications.

Dr. About also teaches at various universities (Gustave Eiffel University, Paris Cité University). Recent research projects include OASIS, to support the development and evaluation of Oasis school projects in Paris (FEDER-UIA, 2019-22) and COOLSCHOOLS (ERA-NET, 2022-25). This
program focuses on the consideration of biodiversity, pedagogy, governance and health components in schoolyards in Barcelona, Brussels, Rotterdam and Paris. She has co-published a book (2019), (re)Penser la ville du XXIème siècle – 20 ans d’éco-quartiers dans le monde, and more recently an article (2021) Off-cycleComparing model sustainable neighbourhoods in France and Canada, City, Analysis of Urban Change, Theory, Action, Routledge. Dr. About also works on the themes of the sensitive city, urban walks with residents and cocreation. In 2021, she co-published Intertexting, a participatory approach to co-creation in support of urban practices (open editions Journals).

Director Tareq Abu Hamed

Dr. Tareq Abu Hamed

Arava Institute for Environmental Studies

Dr. Abu Hamed from East Jerusalem holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s of Science in Chemical Engineering from Gazi University (Turkey), and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Ankara University (Turkey), and has completed two terms of postdoctoral research at the Environmental Science and Energy Research Department of the Weizmann Institute (Israel), and the University of Minnesota’s Mechanical Engineering Department Solar Energy Lab.

In 2008, he established the Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC) at the Arava Institute. He left the Institute in 2013 to become the Israeli Ministry of Science’s Deputy Chief Scientist, and later the Acting Chief Scientist, the highest ranking Palestinian in the Israeli government. He returned to the Arava Institute in 2016 as Director of CREEC and Academic Director, and was appointed Executive Director in 2021.

Eilon Adar

Prof. Eilon Adar

Ben Gurion University of the Negev

Prof. Eilon Adar investigates aspects of worldwide arid-zones hydrology and cross-border water resources. His primary research focuses on quantitatively assessing groundwater flow systems and groundwater recharge in complex arid basins with puzzling hydrogeology and scarce hydrological information. He developed the Mixing Cell Modeling approach in hydrology used to assess groundwater flow patterns and fluxes in numerous basins worldwide. Prof. Adar completed his undergraduate studies in Geology, Physical Geography, and Climatology (1974) at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. He completed his M.Sc. in Physical Geography and Hydrology (1979) at the Hebrew University in collaboration with the Department of Desert Hydrology at Ben Gurion University of the Negev. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona, Tucson, USA (1984), with a Major in Hydrology and a Minor Ph.D. in Soil Water Engineering. Prof. Adar returned to Ben Gurion University (1985) as a faculty member. He was the founder (2004) and the director of the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research at the Blaustein Institute for Desert Research until his retirement in 2018. He has served as an active Prof. Emeritus in Hydrology since then.

Dorit Adler

Dr. Dorit Adler

Israeli Forum for Sustainable Nutrition

Dr. Dorit Adler, RD, MPH, PhD Clinical dietitian, deeply involved and leader in nutrition management, policy, public health, nutrition security and sustainability in the widest contexts and the relation to social issues, economy and the right to food. Dr Adler is the President of the Israeli Forum for Sustainable Nutrition, and co-chairs the Food System and Water Cluster of the Israeli President’s Climate Forum. She has helped prepare the 2001 summit, as a Food System Summit Champion net member, now member of the UN Reference Group. She is past director of the Nutrition and Dietetic department of the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem for three decades; a former national supervisor of all Nutrition and dietetic units in hospitals in Israel, ministry of health; founder of the Israeli Dietetic professional Association – ATID; past chair of the Israeli Diabetes Association’s Food committee and its breakthrough concept, front of pack food label reflecting the health multi risk factors embedded in industrialized foods; alumni of the Heschel center for sustainability leadership program. Currently Member of the scientific advisory committee of the Israeli council for nutrition security; a member of the national advisory’s committees for women’s health in the ministry of health; jointly involved in and initiator of a position statement relating to food and nutrition policies transformation needed in Israel and globally.

Avshalom Babad

Dr. Avshalom Babad

Dead Sea and Arava Science Center

Dr. Avshalom Babad is a hydrogeologist researcher at the Dead Sea and Arava Science Center, Israel. He has experience with spatial analysis of complex hydrogeological system, runoff and Flash-floods generation proceeds and ancient techniques for soil erosion reduction. Additionally, he has extensive experience in technical and field work.

Joao Gabriel Bessa

Dr. João Gabriel Bessa

University of Jaén, Spain

Dr. João Gabriel Bessa received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He has been working in the field of PV soiling for 5 years, beginning during his Master’s program in Renewable Energy at the University of Jaén. Currently, he is a researcher at the Advances in Photovoltaic Technology Research Group (AdPVTech) at the University of Jaén, Spain. During this period, his work has been focused on photovoltaic monitoring and estimation methods, with special attention to modeling techniques using environmental parameters. Recently, he has started working on the management of the AgriPV projects within the AdPVTech group as well as preparing proposals in the same field. Additionally, he has been actively involved in knowledge transfer activities, connecting with the industrial sector.

Lisa Bosman

Dr. Lisa Bosman

Purdue University

Dr. Bosman, Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering, is an Associate Professor within the Purdue Polytechnic Institute at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN, USA). She spent the first part of her career working as a manufacturing engineer for world-class companies including Harley-Davidson, John Deere, and Oshkosh Defense. Her research interests focus on integrating the entrepreneurial mindset into learning experiences through Teaching & Curriculum Development, Educator Professional Development, and Real-World Applied Learning. With respect to the latter, Dr. Bosman is the PI for a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant award (NSF REU Site: Growing Entrepreneurially-Minded Undergraduate Researchers with New Product Development in Applied Energy), which provides engineering  students with a research experience that combines the best aspects of academic applied research, such as strong theory basis and rigorous scholarship, with essential business practices such as real-world customer discovery and the generation of sound business plans. This REU grant project is an extension of prior NSF support focused on solar energy performance modeling.


Luciano Castillo

Dr. Luciano Castillo

Purdue University

Prior to joining Purdue University as the Kenninger Chair Professor of Renewable Energy & Power Systems, Dr. Castillo was the inaugural Center Director of the National Wind Resource Center and the Don-Kay-Clay Cash Distinguished Engineering Chair in Wind Energy at Texas Tech University.  For many years he was Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the Mechanical & Aerospace Department. His areas of research interest include: turbulence, renewable energy and bioengineering.

He has published over 100 publications, edited several books on renewable energy and co-authored several patents. Some of his awards include: Fellow of American Physical Society (APS), Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the NASA Faculty Fellowship, the Martin Luther King Faculty Award, the Robert T. Knapp Award Best Paper Award from the ASME, the Best Paper Award from the Journal of Renewable Energy, the Best Paper Award from IEEE, the Rensselaer Faculty Award, College of Engineering Dean H. T. Yang Faculty Excellence Award at Purdue, and recently was elected as member of the College of Engineering Advisory Council at Purdue. He gave several keynotes lectures, plenary lecture, and distinguished lectures on wind energy. Currently, he serves as Associate Editor of Wind Engineering & Science, and serves in various scientific committees on renewable energy in Europe.

He is passionate about inclusiveness and mentoring students and young faculty, and founded and organized two summer research institutes on renewable energy & medicine, which included students, faculty and K-12 teachers.  For his contributions and impacts on inclusiveness he received in 2016 the McDonald Mentoring Award from ASME, and was recently re-appointed in the School of Engineering as a Dean’s Faculty Fellow for Hispanic Engagement. I

In 2020, he received the Faculty Award from C-Prep, for his impact in teaching & inspiring minority student. In 2021 he was inducted in the National Academy of Engineering of Mexico (Foreign Corresponding Member) for his contributions to the USA/Mexico border and his scholarship contributions in renewable energy. Last year he was honor as member of the Engineering Council of the College of Engineering at Purdue.  In 2023 he received the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Distinguished Career Alumni Award from the University at Buffalo for his contributions to society and engineering.

Stacey Connaughton

Dr. Stacey L. Connaughton

Purdue University

Stacey L. Connaughton (Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin) is a Professor in the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University and the Director of the Purdue Policy Research Institute in Purdue’s Discovery Park District. Her research examines leadership and multi-stakeholder organizing, most recently in the context of political violence prevention initiatives. Dr. Connaughton directs the Purdue Peace Project and has led the multi-stakeholder relationship building, project development, and monitoring and evaluation for multiple locally led political violence prevention initiatives in Ghana, Liberia, and Nigeria. She has worked closely with media, government, private sector, INGOs, civil society, and everyday citizens – both those who affect violence and those affected by violence. Dr. Connaughton has developed what she calls the Local Leadership Model of political violence prevention and the Relationally Attentive Approach to doing engaged scholarship (i.e., academic-practitioner political violence prevention collaborations). Central to all of this work is helping to inspire everyday citizens to be critical thinkers, problem solvers, effective communicators, and leaders as they work together to address issues that affect their communities. Dr. Connaughton’s work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, LASER PULSE/USAID, the Carnegie Corporation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Ford Motor Company, the Indiana Department of Transportation, and private benefactors. Dr. Connaughton served as a thought leader on distributed leadership for the U.S. Army Research Institute’s Leader Development Unit. She was a consultant to USAID’s Liberia Strategic Analysis program where she led the development of a mentorship program and leadership curriculum designed to develop the next generation of Liberian leaders. She has presented her research to industry, military, and higher educational audiences, and has facilitated workshops and written guidebooks in the areas of virtual teams, leadership, teambuilding, strategic planning, and effective communication in North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.

Rosa Cossio

Dr. Rosa Cossio

Purdue University

A native of Peru, Dr. Cossio received a BS in Forestry Sciences and holds a degree in Forestry Engineer from the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina (UNALM). She holds a MS in Environmental Studies from Florida International University where she pursued interests in riparian environment conservation and people. Dr. Cossio also holds a PhD in Interdisciplinary Ecology from the University of Florida; she has studied local people and their relationships with both forests and the environment. Dr. Cossio possesses over fifteen years of experience in applied research and practical skills in the milieu of natural resource management, forestry, rural development, and conservation in rural settings in both Latin America and South Asia. She is accomplished in research, data and project management, capacity building and results-based monitoring and evaluation. Dr. Cossio has worked on multinational research initiatives and collaborated in multicultural settings with scientists, students, NGO partners, government authorities, grassroots organizations, and rural actors. In 2021, she took on the role of Program Manager of the Arequipa NEXUS Institute, a research partnership between Purdue University and the National University of San Agustin (UNSA) in Peru to address key challenges limiting the sustainable future of the food-energy-water systems in the Arequipa Region of Peru.

Efrat Elimelech

Dr. Efrat Elimelech

University of Haifa (Israel)

Dr. Efrat Elimelech is a post-doctoral fellow within the Department of Sociology at The University of Haifa, where she is developing and exploring a multi-level conceptual framework to assess food waste dynamics. Her research is specifically centered around examining the behavior of distinct cultural and religious communities, such as Muslim Arabs and Orthodox Jews, within the broader context of Israeli society.

Efrat has 20 years of experience collaborating with various entities, including corporations, non-governmental organizations, local authorities, and government agencies. Her expertise lies in crafting strategies and policies aimed at reducing waste, with a particular focus on minimizing food waste. Additionally, she teaches at the Bezalel Academy of Arts a course dedicated to instilling sustainable design thinking in the designers of tomorrow.

20221012 Leuven. EIT Food

Tommaso Emiliani

European Institute for Innovation and Technology

Tommaso Emiliani works as EIT Strategic Synergies Manager at EIT Food – the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT)’s thematic hub dedicated to the transition of European food systems towards sustainability. Tommaso’s responsibilities include international partnership building and the design of activities within areas of high political salience such as Artificial Intelligence, Circular Economy and the recent EU initiative ‘New European Bauhaus’.
Emiliani also works as an independent expert of international negotiations and analyst of the geopolitics of food security for institutions such as IEMed – the Euro-Mediterranean Institute; ISPI – the Italian Institute for International Studies; IAI – the Italian Institute for International Affairs. His professional experience includes the creation of partnerships with institutions such as the GCC – Gulf Cooperation Council; the Council for Higher Education of Israel; the AU – African Union; the OIF – Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. Emiliani has also been working as course developer and trainer in international affairs for diplomats, European administrators and business executives in the framework of programmes held at institutions such as the ENA – French School of Administration; and CoE – College of Europe.

Tommaso Emiliani holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Rome 3; an MA in Peace & Conflict Studies from the Free University of Brussels (ULB); an MA in European Interdisciplinary Studies from the College of Europe in Warsaw, and a certification in Agile Governance of Transnational Organisations from the EUI – European University Institute in Florence.

Juliana Espada Lichston

Prof. Juliana Espada Lichston

Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte

Dr. Juliana Espada Lichston is a professor in the Department of Botany and Zoology at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil since 2005, and coordinator of the Laboratory of Energy Crops. She holds a BSc in Biology, and an MSc and PhD in Comparative Biology, emphasis on plant production, from the University of São Paulo (USP – Brazil), and has completed a Post-Doctorate in Agriculture in Dry Lands at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev (BGU – Israel), where she was a visiting professor in 2017 and 2018. She is a member of the Postgraduate Program in Development and Environment – PRODEMA/UFRN, and a member of the Brazilian Biodiesel Technology Network initiated by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations (Brazil).

Her research is centered around improving Technologies for the Sustainable Development of the Brazilian Semiarid Region; Plant Species Studies as a Tool for Conservation; Use of Plant Biomass for the Production of Bioproducts and Biofuels, aiming to contribute to the Socioeconomic Development of the Brazilian Semiarid.

Amit Gross

Prof. Amit Gross

Ben Gurion University of the Negev

Prof. Amit Gross is the director of the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, which is part of the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). His research interests include conversion of waste to resource, namely energy and nutrients, by treatment and efficient use of marginal water and sludge. Gross’ current academic activities are focused on the use of greywater and wastewater for irrigation; the development of waste management practices for efficient reuse and minimization of environmental pollution; efficient use of saline water for aquaculture purposes; and treatment of aquaculture effluent in recirculating aquaculture and aquaponic systems. Prof. Gross has supervised over 60 graduate students, authored/coauthored more than 115 peer reviewed articles and a monograph on safe greywater reuse.

Suleiman Halasah

Dr. Suleiman Halasah

Arava Institute for Environmental Studies

Dr. Suleiman Halasah is a research associate at the Institute for Science Innovation and Society at the University of Oxford, UK, and Co-director of the Jordan-Israel Center for Community, Environment, and Research (JICCER) at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Dr. Halasah also directs the Jordanian consulting firm i.GREENs which focuses on energy, water and environment. Dr. Halasah earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Jordan in Amman, and a Master of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy in Desert Studies from Ben-Gurion University in the Negev, Israel.

Bruce Hamaker

Dr. Bruce Hamaker

Purdue University

Dr. Bruce R. Hamaker is Distinguished Professor of Food Science at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. He also holds the Roy L. Whistler Chair and is Director of the Whistler Center of Carbohydrate Research. He obtained his undergraduate degree in biological sciences from Indiana University; his graduate studies were in human nutrition (M.S.) and food chemistry (Ph.D.) from Purdue University, and post-doctoral study at the Instituto de Investigacion Nutricional in Lima, Peru (supervisor, George Graham, Johns Hopkins University). He was in the U.S. Peace Corps in Liberia, West Africa from 1977-1979. He has over 320 refereed publications in food science, human nutrition, biochemistry and broad-spectrum journals, as well as numerous book chapters. He has advised over 70 M.S and Ph.D. students and over 25 post-doctoral scientists. Bruce’s research is known in the area of food carbohydrates and proteins with applications related to topics of processing, nutrition, health and wellness. He has been and is active in international research programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America; and particularly in development-oriented research and applied programs in West and East Africa; through USAID Feed-the-Future, and Rockefeller, Gates and McKnight Foundation projects.

Agroecologist Dr. Oren Hoffman

Dr. Oren Hoffman

Arava Institute for Environmental Studies

Dr. Oren Hoffman was born and raised in Kibbutz Ketura, and has a deep connection to the surrounding natural and agricultural landscape. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in plant sciences and agronomy, with a focus on ecology and natural resource conservation from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a Master’s degree in Desert Studies from Ben Gurion University, studying feedbacks between the vegetation and landforming processes of runoff and erosion in the Negev desert. His PhD research focused on assessing vegetation community and ecosystem responses to environmental drivers using a structural-functional state and transition model.

After three years of postdoctoral research at UC Davis, studying the ecology and management of organic farming in California, including crop livestock integration and adding perennials to the crop rotation, Dr. Hoffman returned in 2022 to live in Kibbutz Ketura, and continue his research as Director of the Arava Institute’s Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

Lori Hoagland

Dr. Lori Hoagland

Purdue University

Dr. Lori Hoagland is a professor and in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Purdue University in the United States of America. She holds a BS in Environmental Science and MS in Agroecology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), and a PhD in Soil Microbiology and Biochemistry from Washington State University (WSU). During post-doctoral studies at WSU, she gained experience in Plant Breeding and Genetics while investigating how crop genetics can mediate beneficial plant-soil-microbial relationships. She joined the faculty at Purdue in 2010. The long-term goal of her research program is to improve the productivity, quality and safety of edible horticultural crops while reducing negative impacts that these production systems can on the environment and ensuring that they can adapt to climate change. Specific aims of her on-going projects include identifying practical approaches to promote biological control of pathogens that can cause diseases in crops and humans, improving nutrient-use efficiency, and preventing the uptake of toxic heavy metals and other pollutants into edible plant tissues. She teaches an undergraduate course introducing students to urban agricultural systems, and a graduate course focused on mechanisms controlling plant microbiomes. In 2019, she spent 6 months as a Visiting Professor at the National University of Colombia in Bogota supported by the Fulbright Program where she developed collaborative research projects focused on sustainable cacao and coffee production systems. In 2021, she took on the role of Co-Director and lead PI of the Arequipa Nexus Institute, which links researchers from Purdue and the National University of San Agustin (UNSA) to collaboratively address environmental, agroeconomic, and social challenges limiting the development of adaptive, profitable, and sustainable food-energy-water systems.

photo of Jozsef Kadar

József Kádár

Arava Institute for Environmental Studies

József Kádár is a researcher at the Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. His research focuses on the social-technological analysis of energy systems, social innovation, community energy, energy poverty, energy security, and digitalization.

József Kádár studied in Hungary (Eotvos Lorand Science University) and Israel (University of Haifa). He is active participant at the European Cost Action program on Positive Energy District and Network on water-energy-food nexus for a low-carbon economy in Europe and beyond. Currently, he is a visiting research fellow at the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy where he works on people-centered Positive Energy District.

Yoram Kapulnik

Prof. Yoram Kapulnik

US-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD)

Prof. Yoram Kapulnik is the new Executive Director of the U.S.-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD). He served as the Director General of the Volcani Center in Israel (2011-2016) and prior to this position, he served as the head of numerous Institutes within the Volcani Center.

Born and raised in Israel, Prof. Kapulnik received his doctorate in Soil Microbiology from the Hebrew University and as a Fulbright Fellow, completed his post-doctoral work at the University of California, Davis. Prof. Kapulnik holds 14 patents, trained more than 65 graduate and post-graduate students in his lab and has published more than 170 articles in his field in international scientific journals.

During the years, Prof. Kapulnik served on numerous national and international research evaluation panels, chaired the board of the Israeli Gene Bank, the natural “food security” commission and the national working group to develop curriculum frameworks for agricultural education in Israel. He also represented Israel in numerous international events in Israel and abroad.

Arnon Karnieli

Prof. Arnon Karnieli

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Prof. Arnon Karnieli (Mail) received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona, Tucson, in 1988. Since then, he has been the Head of the Remote Sensing Laboratory, Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boker Campus, Israel. His primary research is focused on processing spaceborne, airborne, and ground spectroscopic data of drylands concerning desertification and climate change processes. In this regard, his study’s applications cover dryland ecosystems and agriculture, and to a lesser extent, dust/aerosols and coastal water. He has experience in land-use and land-cover change, spectral, spatial, and temporal analyses. Prof. Karnieli is the Israeli Principal Investigator of the recreantly launched Vegetation and Environmental New Micro Spacecraft (VENμS) mission. Until recently, Prof. Karnieli supervised dozens of Master students, 15 Ph.D. students, and several post-docs. Prof. Karnieli has published more than 240 papers in peer-reviewed journals.

Rina Kedem

Dr. Rina Kedem

Arava Institute for Environmental Studies

Dr. Rina Kedem is an environmental-peace entrepreneur. She co-directs the Jordan-Israel Center for Community, Environment, and Research at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. She holds a PhD from the Department of Geography and the Advanced School for Environmental Studies of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she also teaches at the International Development MA program. Her research and field work focus on transboundary environmental cooperation, international community development and conflict, environmental policy, climate change and natural research management. Dr. Kedem has co-developed and directed organizations and projects with Palestinians, Jordanians, and Israelis for the past twenty years.

Bio Mauricio Kleinberg

Dr. Mauricio Kleinberg

Ben-Gurion University of the Desert, Israel

Dr. Maurício Kleinberg was born and raised in the semiarid Northeast region of Brazil. He received his first degrees in Chemical Process Technology and Business Administration. He received his second degree in Renewable Energies, emphasizing the utilization of food waste for biofuel production in Brazil. He immigrated to Israel in 2021 and received a Ph.D. in Desert Studies specializing in Desalination and Water Treatment from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). His Ph.D. focused on new carbon materials for advanced water treatment. In 2023, he continued his postdoctoral studies at BGU, emphasizing the electrocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide.

Dr. Maurício has published and presented on water treatment, material science, biofuel production, and nutraceuticals’ obtention from fish oil waste. During his Ph.D., he received a Publication Prize from BGU. During his first degree, he received a 1-year scholarship from the Brazilian Government to study at SUNY New Paltz and intern at Wake Forest Baptist Health (USA).

Florian Krampe

Dr. Florian Krampe

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute‘s Climate Change and Risk Programme

Dr. Florian Krampe is the Director of SIPRI’s Climate Change and Risk Programme. His particular focus is on peace and conflict research, environmental and climate security, and international security. His work bridges academia and policy and focuses on the foundations of peace and security, especially the processes of building peace after armed conflict in regions highly exposed to climate change.

Dr. Krampe’s work informs policymakers, including several UN organs and agencies, as well as other multilateral institutions and governments, who he regularly advises on their work on climate change and security.

Dr. Krampe is an Affiliated Researcher at the Research School for International Water Cooperation at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University and a Specially Appointed Professor at Hiroshima University, Japan. Krampe is a member of the Editorial Board of Environment and Security.


Dr. David Lehrer

Arava Institute for Environmental Studies

Dr. Lehrer holds a Doctorate from the Geography and Environmental Development Department of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and a joint Masters Degree in Management Science from Boston University and Ben-Gurion University. Dr. Lehrer was the Executive Director of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies from 2001 until August 2021 and has now become Director of International Development. Mr. Lehrer has been a member of Kibbutz Ketura since 1981; worked in agriculture and education; served as the General Secretary and Business Manager, and twice served as an emissary for the Jewish Agency of Israel in the US. Dr. Lehrer’s research includes studies on the effectiveness of the ISO 14001 environmental management system, sustainable development in the Dead Sea Basin and the cost of nature conservation in Israel. After a Sabbatical lecturing at Boston University, Dr. Lehrer returned to the Arava Institute in 2022 as a lecturer, and Director of International Development.

Leon Salas

Dr. Daniel Leon-Salas

Purdue University; Arequipa Nexus Institute

Dr. Daniel Leon-Salas received the B.Sc. degree in electronic engineering from the Universidad Nacional de San Agustín, Arequipa, Peru, and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) in 2001 and 2006, respectively. Currently he is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Technology at Purdue University. His research interests are in the areas of low-power analog design, CMOS image sensors, solar energy harvesting, optical communications and data compression. Dr. Leon-Salas directs the tinyLab which is dedicated to the integration of electronic circuits with sensors and wireless communications. He has published extensively in international journals and conferences in these areas. Dr. Leon-Salas teaches classes in digital signal processing and digital circuit design. He won the first place in the national undergraduate project competition in INTERCON for his project Neuro-Fuzzy Controller. He received the Best Doctoral Dissertation award from the College of Engineering at UNL in 2007, the CAREER award from the National Science Foundation in 2011, the Outstanding Faculty in Discovery award from the School of Engineering Technology at Purdue University in 2014 and the best runner up live demo award in the 2018 IEEE ISCAS conference. He has served as a reviewer for several journals, as a proposal reviewer for the National Science Foundation and is a regular session chair and Review Committee Member (RCM) for the IEEE ISCAS conference. He is the Co-Director of the Arequipa Nexus Institute for Food, Energy, Water and the Environment and the Secretary of the IEEE Sensory Systems Technical Committee.

Clive Headshot

Dr. Clive Lipchin

Arava Institute for Environmental Studies

Dr. Clive Lipchin was born in South Africa and raised in Johannesburg. He received his first degree in applied psychology and zoology with an emphasis on wildlife management on private game farms in South Africa’s Northern Province. Dr. Lipchin immigrated to Israel in 1991 and received a masters degree in desert ecology from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. In 1996, he left Israel to pursue a PhD in resource ecology management at the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan. The focus of his PhD was public perceptions and attitudes towards water scarcity in Israel.

Dr. Lipchin joined the faculty of the Arava Institute in 2003 where he teaches a multidisciplinary course on water management in the Middle East. He oversees research projects, workshops and conferences that focus on transboundary water and environmental problems facing Israel, Jordan and Palestine. His specialty is in water resources management and policy.   Currently, Dr. Lipchin is coordinating the TransBasin—Transboundary Water Basin Management Project, a project funded by the International Research Staff Exchange Scheme of the European Union. This project brings together researchers from Europe and the Middle East to study conflict and cooperation in river basin management and to identify the principles and mechanisms that both promote and hinder cooperation in river basins in Europe and the Middle East. 

Dr. Lipchin has published and presented widely on the topic of transboundary water management in the Middle East and has served as senior editor on two books: “Integrated Water Resources Management in the Middle East”, and “The Jordan River and Dead Sea Basin: Cooperation amid Conflict”. Since the online publication on Oct 9th , 2009 of  “The Jordan River and Dead Sea Basin: Cooperation Amid Conflict” there has been a total of 2,440 chapter downloads of the book making it one of the top 50% most downloaded eBooks in the Springer eBook Collection of 2012.

Elise Machline

Dr. Elise Machline

Arava Institute for Environmental Studies

Dr. Elise Machline was born and raised in France. She received her first degree in Geography from Paris 10 University. Dr. Machline immigrated to Israel in 2003, and holds a Masters degree in Desert Studies from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. In 2018, she completed her PhD in Environmental Studies and Geography at the Sorbonne University in cooperation with Ben-Gurion University, with a focus on the socio-economic impacts of green building policies through a comparative analysis between France and Israel.

Following a post-doctoral position at Ben-Gurion University researching “green” building policies, Dr. Machline joined the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research in 2019 as an associate researcher. She contributed to a national project on social housing policies, and joined the Habitat Observatory of the Luxembourg Ministry of Housing, overseeing research projects, workshops and conferences that focus on sustainable urbanism policies to mitigate climate change.

Currently, Dr. Machline is part of the Ecourbanism Research Network, a site for sharing knowledge and experience about eco-urban neighbourhoods in different parts of the world. Dr. Machline has published and presented widely on the topic of sustainable urbanism policies to mitigate climate change, and published the book: “Green-neighbourhoods and Eco-gentrification.”

Hung Manh Nguyen

Dr. Hung Manh Nguyen

Postdoctoral research fellow, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel)

Dr. Hung Manh Nguyen obtained his engineering degree in Biotechnology in 2014 from Hanoi Open University, Vietnam. In 2015, he started his international education by taking a master’s program in Plant Science at Tel Aviv University, Israel. In 2017, under the supervision of Dr. Gidon Winters (Dead Sea and Arava Science Center – ADSSC, Israel) and Dr. Yuval Sapir (Tel Aviv University, Israel), he investigated the response of the tropical seagrass Halophila stipulacea from its native (Red Sea, Israel) and invasive (Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus) populations to climate change for his M.Sc. thesis. Soon, he became fascinated with seagrasses, the extraordinary marine plants, and decided to pursue a Ph.D. program at Dr. Gabriele Procaccini’s Lab at the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Italy (one of the world’s best research groups in molecular biology of seagrasses). His PhD work significantly advanced our understanding of seagrasses’ response to environmental changes and local adaptation. Especially, his Ph.D. publication was the first on stress memory in seagrasses pioneering an emerging topic in seagrass research with huge potential application in seagrass management, resilience building and restoration actions. After receiving his Ph.D. in 2022, he came back to Israel for a postdoc at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) where he is a team member of Prof. Simon Barak’s Lab (BGU) and Dr. Gidon Winters’ Lab (ADSSC). His current research includes seagrasses’ response to multiple stressors, seagrass monitoring and seagrass restoration. Throughout his career, Hung has published 11 publications related to seagrasses in renowned scientific journals, including those with very high impact factors. He is proudly an associate editor of Frontiers in Plant Science and Frontiers in Climate, whose mission is to examine publications that discuss both challenges and opportunities of seagrasses and climate change. In addition, he is an active reviewer for many reputable worldwide scientific journals.

Beata Pataki

Beata Pataki

University of Debrecen, Hungary

Beata Pataki is a fulltime lecturer of the Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Debrecen, Hungary. She received her BSc degree in agricultural water management (PMMF Water Management Institute, Baja) and her MSc degree in civil engineering – on the field of water and environment (from the Budapest University of Technology). She has 15 years’ experience in education and almost 30 years in research. Subject she teaches are e.g.: hydrology, ecological planning, sustainable management of environmental resources, climate change impact in build environment, integrate water resources management, nature based solution. Her special fields of interest are: assessment of ecosystem services based on system thinking approach, water-energy-food-ecosystem nexus, integrated river basin management, floodplain/wetland management, natural water retention measures. She contributed (also as WP or case-study leader) to several international research projects and coordinated numerous national projects focusing on water quality assessment and modelling, climate change impacts on water systems, assessment of ecosystem services as well as integrated river basin management. She is currently involved into the EU funded Horizon 2020 project, GoNexus (Integrated solutions for water energy food and ecosystems) that investigates the WEFE nexus to global trends, including changing climate in 8 case studies.

Pratishtha Poudel

Dr. Pratishtha Poudel

Purdue University

Dr. Pratishtha joined the Agronomy department at Purdue University as an assistant professor in Agroecosystems modeling in February 2023. Prior to joining Purdue University, she was a post-doctoral researcher at Kansas State University. Her research focuses on development and application of crop models, data science in agriculture, and crop physiology with a broader goal of understanding and predicting the drivers of a sustainable agro-ecosystem.

Amisha Shah

Dr. Amisha Shah

Purdue University

Dr. Amisha Shah is currently an Associate Professor in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering and the Division of Environmental and Ecological Engineering (EEE) at Purdue University. Prior to this appointment, she was a research associate at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG). She received her B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering (currently the Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering) from Washington University in St. Louis in 2002 and her Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2008. She was a post-doctoral associate in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at Yale University before joining EAWAG in 2012. Dr. Shah’s research and teaching interests include the areas of environmental chemistry, contaminant reaction kinetics, mechanisms and by-product formation, analytical chemistry, and mass transport mechanisms as it pertains to water treatment, water quality, and impacts to climate change. She has published over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and is a recipient of several awards including the EEE Instructional Excellence Award (2018).

Dr. Maria Vrachioli

Dr. Maria Vrachioli

Technical University of Munich

Dr. Maria Vrachioli is an applied economist focusing on issues at the intersection of water resources and microeconomic theory. Her research focuses on the effective use of water resources using the tools of production economics, and integrated hydrological and climate models within the Nexus framework. She holds a PhD in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida, USA. Maria Vrachioli is the coordinator of the the RETOUCH NEXUS project. She is a member of the OECD Network on Agricultural Total Factor Productivity and the Environment.

Lisa Welp

Dr. Lisa Welp

Purdue University

Dr. Lisa Welp is an Associate Professor of Biogeochemistry in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA. She has a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering from the California Institute of Technology and a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Indiana University. Her research themes include understanding how water moves between the atmosphere and the land surface and how plants respond to climate change. She uses stable isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen in water, carbon, and nitrogen as natural tracers of flows and transformations of these elements. Her work has studied how efficiently plants use water relative to photosynthetic assimilation rates, known as water use efficiency. Studies have been conducted on the sensitivity of rain-fed soybean and temperate deciduous trees to drought conditions using stable carbon isotopes. She is also studying how nitrogen is exported from agricultural soils and the role of microbial processes which transform nitrate from fertilizer applications to gas compounds released to the atmosphere. Other broad research interests include ecosystem and hydrologic responses to climate change and atmospheric processes generating precipitation and marine low-level cloud topped boundary layers. Dr. Welp serves as the co-lead of the Water Challenges research community within the Purdue Institute for a Sustainable Future (ISF) and on scientific advisory boards for the US National Science Foundation supported National Ecological Observing Network (NEON) working group on Atmospheric Isotopes and the American Meteorological Association board on Atmospheric Biogeosciences. In addition, she oversees curriculum and student mentoring for the Environmental Geoscience major at Purdue.

Marcus Zepf

Prof. Dr. Marcus Zepf

Paris School of Urban Planning

Prof. Dr. Marcus Zepf is a professor of urban planning at the Paris School of Urban Planning (EUP), faculty of Université Paris Est-Créteil (UPEC) and researcher at the Lab’Urba research laboratory. He was co-director of EUP between 2019 and 2023, and director of the Institute of Urbanism – Grenoble (IUG) at Pierre Mendès University France (UPMF) from 2010 to 2015.

His expertise embraces four thematic approaches of contemporary urban transitions:

  • Urban uncertainties and climate change
  • Local democracy & urban projects
  • Public spaces and urban policies
  • Urban environment and health
Tali Zohar

Dr. Tali Zohar

Arava Institute for Environmental Studies

Dr. Tali Zohar holds a B.A. in Behavioral Science from Ruppin Academic Center, an M.A in Energy Policy and Management from the University of Haifa, and a Ph.D. in energy policy, studying the transition towards a low carbon electricity market in Israel. She is a researcher at the Dead-Sea and Arava Science Center, exploring the water-energy-food nexus, the assimilation of low-carbon technologies, and sustainable local solutions for water scarcity and clean energy production.

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